Category: Gmail | Jun 19, 2012
Posted by Greg Bullock, Software Engineer
Themes have been an important part of Gmail ever since we launched them back in 2008. Not only do they let you personalize your inbox with fun backgrounds, but they’re also practical, helping you easily differentiate between multiple Gmail inboxes (e.g. work and personal).
When we unveiled Gmail’s new look back in November, we introduced a number of new, beautiful HD themes. We also heard that many of you wanted to bring an even more personal touch by setting your own background. So over the next couple of days we are rolling out a new Custom themes section with two options, Light and Dark where you can do just that. Watch the video to see some examples:
You can upload your own images directly, select from your Google+ photos or simply paste any image URL. Or, if you don’t have a particular image in mind, you can browse our searchable Featured Photos section to find one that speaks to you. With so many great options, it may be hard to choose, so to get a sense of the images available, try searching for ‘hdr scenery’ or ‘bokeh wallpaper’ in the Featured tab.
Whether you want to bask on a tropical island or simply reminisce about last year’s holiday with the family, your Gmail can now be customized to your mood. Find your perfect image and make your Gmail your own with custom themes.
Category: Gmail | May 24, 2012
Posted by Chris Yang, Product Manager, Translator Toolkit
Languages can provide identity, pride, a sense of belonging and spiritual guidance to communities. We hope that by making Gmail available in both majority and minority languages, more people will be able to share their culture and knowledge with others worldwide. Today, we’re very excited to announce that Gmail is now available in Welsh and Latin American Spanish. You can select Welsh and Latin American Spanish as your default language in Settings:
Welsh, as a living language, is used by an increasing number of speakers, in their everyday life. For this project, we’d like to thank the Welsh Language Commissioner for working with us to make Gmail available to Welsh speakers around the world. The project was completed through Google Translator Toolkit, which is a Computer-Aided Translation tool supporting over 100,000 language combinations.
Spanish is spoken by more than 300 million people in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Latin American Spanish version of Gmail is designed to be a closer match to the expectations of Spanish speakers in the Americas.
These two languages bring the total number of supported languages in Gmail to 56.
Category: Gmail | May 21, 2012
Posted by Isaac Elias, Software Engineer
When we built Gmail, we wanted to bring that same great search experience Google is known for to email. And today, we are making that experience even better by improving the autocomplete predictions you see when you search in Gmail.
Now when you type something into the Gmail search box, the autocomplete predictions will be tailored to the content in your email, so you can save time and get the information you want faster than ever before. For example, you might now get lax reservation or lax united as predictions after typing “lax” if you have received an email with a flight confirmation for your trip to Los Angeles in your inbox recently.
We will be rolling out improved autocomplete in English over the next few days and will follow with more languages over the next few months. While initially improved autocomplete will not be available for Google Apps customers, we plan to bring this feature to Apps domains in the future.
Category: Gmail | May 16, 2012
Posted by Itamar Gilad, Product Manager
Email is more than just messages going back and forth — it’s also about the people sending them. That’s why today we’re introducing changes that continue to bring people front and center in Gmail, just as we did with profile photos in conversation view, the people widget and last year’s integrations with Google+. Today’s changes include quick access to contact details when viewing past conversations as well as improved integration with Google+ circles.
Quick access to contact details
When you search for an email address, the search results will now show you contact details in addition to that person’s profile photo and the emails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically.
You can get to these same results in a variety of ways including from the people widget, contacts and the chat list search menu.
Improved circle integration and circle search
In addition to adding contact details to search results, we’ve made some improvements to the circles integration announced in December. When you select a circle, you’ll now see profile photos of people in that circle at the top right of the page. Plus, when you click on these images you’ll be taken directly to search results with contact details.
Circles are also now supported in search and filters. Find messages from a specific circle by typing circle:[circle name] in the search box. You can also find mail from any of your circled contacts by searching with has:circle. You can refine your search even further with other criteria and create filters based on circles. This means you can now view all the unread emails from your ‘Friends’ circle or automatically star every message that comes from your ‘VIP’ circle.
These updates are helping us to provide a more consistent, beautiful experience across all of our products. Quick access to contact details will be rolling out to everyone today. To take advantage of circles and more in Gmail, you’ll need to join Google+.
Category: Gmail | May 15, 2012
Posted by Erin Reilly, Google Green team
If you’re anything like me, you send and receive a lot of emails every day. But have you ever wondered where your message goes after you hit “send?” How does an email travel from your computer to your friend’s smartphone across the country or around the world?
We’re answering those questions with Story of Send, a new site that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how all that virtual information makes its journey through the real world—from your Internet service provider to our data centers and beyond. Along the way, you’ll discover everything from where we filter for spam and scan for viruses to how we’re minimizing our impact on the environment through energy efficiency and renewable power.
We’ve included videos and photos throughout the journey so you can explore certain areas more deeply. For example, if you’re curious what data center servers look like, we’ve included some photos. Or you can watch a video to learn about how we purchase clean energy from wind farms near our data centers. And because technology doesn’t always have to be serious, you might find a vampire or two lurking around or uncover other surprises on the journey.
In the past, Gmail fans have shown us how emails connect people across the world. Now we’re providing a glimpse into how those emails go from one place to another. So hit send and start the journey today.
Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog
Category: Gmail | May 9, 2012
Posted by Preston Hershorn, Product Marketing Manager
If you are a frequent visitor to the Gmail blog, there’s a good chance you’re already a Gmail ninja. Maybe you use video chat in Gmail to keep in touch with family when you’re on the road. Perhaps you’ve created a superb organizational system with labels and Priority Inbox and even have a colorful theme to say “this inbox is mine.”
Sound familiar? If so, then you’ve seen the benefits of going Google. But we all know someone who hasn’t yet made the switch, and is missing out on the convenience of having email, chat, video, and calling all together in one place.
So, as part of our effort to let users know all the things they can do by going Google, we’ve put together a short video that shows just how easy it is to get things done with Gmail when you are living in the cloud. Take a look and then share it with one of your friends. They might just be the next person to go Google – and they’ll have you to thank!
Category: Gmail | May 8, 2012
Posted by Zohair Hyder, Software Engineer
Notification emails are a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the Google+ stream: whether someone mentions you, comments on your post, or shares with you directly. It’s not always enough to just read these updates, however; sometimes you want to respond right away, right from your inbox. The good news is that starting today, you can reply to Google+ notifications from Gmail.
On the desktop, in addition to adding people to circles, and viewing recent Google+ content in the people widget, we’re now making Google+ notification emails in Gmail completely interactive:
- You can view, comment on, and +1 posts from inside your inbox
- Your comments appear in the Google+ stream in real-time, and
- Responses from others instantly appear in Gmail, as part of the notification message
You can also reply to notifications from your mobile device (and/or POP or IMAP client). Just open the notification email about the post you’re interested in, and look for the new prompt, “Reply to this email.” Tap reply, send your comment, and we’ll automatically add it to the ongoing Google+ conversation. Even if you don’t use Gmail, you can still reply-by-email from many different services.
From left to right: Google+ notification on the phone; replying via email; updated post in the stream
We’re rolling out all of these features over the next week to users who’ve upgraded to Google+. In the meantime, you can adjust which Google+ notification emails you want to receive via your Google+ settings.
We’re always working to create a simpler, more intuitive experience for our users, and with today’s changes, we’re excited to take another step in this important direction.
Category: Gmail | May 2, 2012
Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google Translate
We’re excited to announce three Gmail Labs graduations today: Automatic Message Translation, Smart Mute and Title Tweaks.
Automatic Message Translation
Did you ever dream about a future where your communications device could transcend language with ease? Well, that day is a lot closer. Back when we launched automatic message translation in Gmail Labs, we were curious to see how people would use it.
We heard immediately from Google Apps for Business users that this was a killer feature for working with local teams across the world. Some people just wanted to easily read newsletters from abroad. Another person wrote in telling us how he set up his mom’s Gmail to translate everything into her native language, thus saving countless explanatory phone calls (he thanked us profusely). I continue to use it to participate in discussions with the global Google offices I often visit.
Since message translation was one of the most popular labs, we decided it was time to graduate from Gmail Labs and move into the real world. Over the next few days, everyone who uses Gmail will be getting the convenience of translation added to their email. The next time you receive a message in a language other than your own, just click on Translate message in the header at the top of the message,
and it will be instantly translated into your language:
If you’re bi-lingual and don’t need translation for that language, just click on Turn off for: [language]. Or if you’d like to automatically have messages in that language translated into your language, click Always Translate. If you accidentally turned off the message translation feature for a particular language, or don’t see the Translate message header on a message, click on the down arrow next to Reply at the top-right of the message pane and select the Translate message option in the drop-down.
With the graduation of Title Tweaks, we’ve changed the text in the browser tab so that you can more easily see if you have new messages. The tab now reads “Inbox (20) – firstname.lastname@example.org – Gmail” instead of “Gmail – Inbox (20) – email@example.com.”
We’ve made improvements to muting based on the graduation of the Smart Mute lab so you can be sure that noisy email threads stay out of your inbox. You can learn more about muting email threads in the help center.
In addition to graduating these three labs, we’ll also be retiring some less popular labs over the next few days: Old Snakey, Mail Goggles, Mouse Gestures, Hide Unread Counts, Move Icon Column, Inbox Preview, Custom Date Formats and SMS in Chat gadget. Please note that the SMS in Chat lab is not being retired, just the gadget associated with it.
Category: Gmail | Apr 24, 2012
Posted by Nicholas Behrens, Software Engineer
Today, we’re happy to announce that we’re increasing everyone’s free storage in Gmail from 7.5 GB to 10 GB (and counting) to celebrate today’s launch of Google Drive. The increase will take effect over the next 24 hours. We hope you all enjoy the little bump!
Category: Gmail | Apr 19, 2012
Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Developer Programs Engineer
One day I was looking at how many messages I have in my sent mail, and realized there are a lot of things I wanted to know about my email habits. How much of my emails do I read, and do I reply fast enough? As luck would have it, Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor, developed a tool called Gmail Meter powered by Google Apps Script.
Gmail Meter is an Apps Script which runs on the first day of every month and sends you an email containing different statistics about your Inbox. In a similar way to how recently introduced Google Account Activity gives key stats about how you’ve used your Google Account, Gmail Meter gives you different types of statistics that will help you analyze your Gmail habits.
- Volume Statistics show you the number of important and starred messages, the number of people who sent you emails, and more. Volume statistics can be very useful in determining how you are using email efficiency tools like Priority Inbox.
- Daily Traffic gives you an estimate of when you receive messages and when you send them during a given month. For example, in the graph below you can see how the peaks in my “Sent” curve indicates that I write emails in spurts.
- Traffic Pattern lets you get a sense of your overall email activity over the past week.
- Email Categories tells you how you are managing your Inbox. In the pie chart below, you can see that the majority of my emails are labeled. My Inbox is tiny compared to other labels which indicates that I keep a lean and mean Inbox.
- Time Before First Response shows you how long it takes you to reply, and how long it takes others to reply to you. By looking at this chart, I can infer that I reply faster than others I communicate with.
- Word Count tells you whether you are writing long emails. The example below shows that most of my emails are shorter than 200 words.
- Thread Lengths help you understand whether you participate in long conversations resulting in long threads. Top Senders and Top Recipients help you identify who you communicate with more frequently.
How to Setup Gmail Meter
It is easy to set up Gmail Meter. First, go to Google Docs and open a Spreadsheet. Click on Tools > Script Gallery
. Search for “Gmail Meter
” and click Install
. You will now see a new menu item called Gmail Meter
on your spreadsheet. Click on Gmail Meter > Get a Report
. You can then choose the type of report. Preparing a report may take some time and you will get an email once the report is ready. If you would like to know more about how this script works, be sure to check this tutorial
Learning about my email habits has helped me become more email efficient. So, before you read that next article on “Writing Effective Emails,” be sure to learn more about your own email habits using Gmail Meter.